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Alberta Diary

David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary blog, is a journalist, author, journalism teacher, poet and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald. His 1995 book, A Poke in the Public Eye, explores the relationships among Canadian journalists, public relations people and politicians. He left journalism after the strike at the Calgary Herald in 1999 and 2000 to work for the trade union movement. Alberta Diary focuses on Alberta politics and social issues.

Blog - Alberta Diary September 22
Premier John Horgan announces a snap election on September 21, 2020. Image: John Horgan/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | The snap election call has particularly upset the provincial Greens and right-wing B.C. Liberals.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 17
Jason Kenney unveils Alberta's economic recovery plan on September 15, 2020. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | As hostility to fossil fuel producers grows, it will be easier in the short term for a cynical politician like Kenney to persuade some Albertans that they need to double down against critics.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 11
Premier Jason Kenney unveils new cabinet appointees in August 2020. Image: Jason Kenney/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Columnist Allan Fotheringham once compared Conservatives to cream: "Rich, thick and full of clots." The Alberta government is living up to that description.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 1
Dr. Deena Hinshaw at yesterday's COVID-19 daily briefing. Image: Screenshot of Alberta Government video
David J. Climenhaga | Reaction to the revelation of the weekend order by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, was visceral.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 31
John A. Macdonald. Image: Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta separatists keen to depart from the rest of Canada were apparently horrified by the actions against the statue of this country's first prime minister.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 19
Members of the Canadian parliamentary press gallery in their offices in Ottawa in 1916. Image: Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Why do Postmedia's principles apply in Edmonton but not in Ottawa?
Blog - Alberta Diary August 18
Image: Lindsay Gibson/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Christian P. Champion's main qualification seems to be that his views on the use of history as a tool for shaping society are remarkably similar to Premier Jason Kenney's.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 17
Alberta minister Demetrios Nicolaides in April, 2020. Image: Demetrios Nicolaides​/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | UnemployedProfessors.com says on its website that "we only hire current and former academics or graduate students who teach their own classes."
Blog - Alberta Diary August 14
Members of the Alberta legislature press gallery at work. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Postmedia proved that the Alberta press gallery is an anachronism, primarily serving as a gatekeeper for a couple of perks for favoured journalists.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 12
Russia's Akademik Lomonosov. Image: TuomoS/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | There's a whiff of scam about efforts to promote the idea of a small reactor manufacturing industry, which wouldn't be located in Alberta anyway.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 11
Edmonton's Royal Alexandra Hospital. Image: Ian Stumpf/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Most of the Edmonton region's orthopedic surgeons would have needed to be on board for the private hospital idea to have legs. At least one of them evidently wasn't.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 10
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage and Premier Jason Kenney in Friday's video. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | The explanation for Friday's announcement, almost certainly, is the embarrassment wrought by the education minister's curriculum-review news conference the day before.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 7
Curriculum advisory panel chair Angus McBeath during his rambling remarks yesterday. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | No one who watched Adriana LaGrange's news conference on her plans for Alberta's K-12 curriculum yesterday could come away with the impression this province's education system is in capable hands.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 6
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage at a recent Keystone XL related announcement. Image: Chris Schwarz/Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's "war on unions" continues, but the United Conservative Party is happy about the creation of good union jobs in the States because, you know … pipelines!
Blog - Alberta Diary August 5
Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Public pressure for a safer school reopening got Jason Kenney's government to budge -- a little. The question is, will worried Albertans decide it budged enough?
Blog - Alberta Diary July 31
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. Image: Chris Schwarz/Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Harsh words about Alberta's UCP by local elected officials in the party's rural heartland are extremely unusual. A fight over how to keep local doctors has sparked some in Pincher Creek.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 30
Jason Kenney and Jason Nixon with a big stack of paper yesterday. Image: Jason Kenney/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | How odd Alberta's red-tape-hating UCP, steeped in the anti-government rhetoric of the old Wildrose party, should be bragging about smothering the province in legislation.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 29
Deutsche Bank AG headquarters in Frankfurt. Image: Thomas Wolf/foto-tw.de/Creative Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Now that it's the government, Jason Kenney's United Conservative Party is strangely passive when foreign banks cut off the oilsands and environmental activists drag them into court.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 28
It should be a crazy week under the socially distanced dome of the Alberta legislature. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta is the test bed for what Canadians will be subjected to if the Conservative Party of Canada somehow manages to get another kick at the national can.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 28
Suncor building in Calgary. Image: Bernard SpraggNZ/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | No information was to be found in Sunday's terse news release about why it took two years to lay charges.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 24
Rachel Notley and Sarah Hoffman when they were Alberta's premier and health minister -- admit it, don't you wish they still were? Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Every afternoon we're told surging COVID-19 rates are a wake-up call for Albertans. Every morning the Kenney government sleeps through the alarm.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 23
Premier Jason Kenney and  Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange during a news conference on May 28, 2020. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The Alberta government isn't prepared to spend the money needed to ensure physical distancing, more aggressive cleaning or even to provide masks.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 22
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at the wheel of his rented recreational vehicle from the video of his recent Southern Alberta tour. Image: Screenshot of Facebook video
David J. Climenhaga | On the road with Jason Kenney: Campfires and RVs, or crisp sheets and brunch on the patio?
Blog - Alberta Diary July 21
Tyler Shandro gives a press conference on June 23, 2020. (Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr)
David J. Climenhaga | Efforts to explain the depth of the government's animus and aggression towards the Alberta Medical Association during a global pandemic have not cast much light on the conflict.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 20
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw. Image: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
David J. Climenhaga | Premier Kenney says he's making "a very strong recommendation" that Albertans wear masks, but there's no way he's going to order them to do it.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 17
Jonathan Wilkinson during a press conference in June, 2020. Image: Jonathan Wilkinson/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Could Wilkinson's doubts have anything to do with the appointment of a climate change denier as a VP of the Alberta Energy Regulator?
Blog - Alberta Diary July 16
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro during a press briefing on July 13, 2020. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Yesterday's desperation play confirms the UCP government's "war on doctors" isn't going well.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 15
Lethbridge-West NDP MLA Shannon Phillips, who was environment minister in the Notley government. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Left unmentioned so far in the affair is its relationship to the continuous abuse endured by female politicians in Alberta by right-wingers while the NDP was in power.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 14
Then British prime minister David Cameron, giving a speech in 2015. Image: Number 10/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The persistence of the "big society" concept helps explain Justin Trudeau's preposterous claim the WE Charity was the only organization in Canada capable of running a nationwide program.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 13
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | The echo chamber of UCP "issues managers" and press secretaries vilifies any doctor that talks back, and seems to be daring physicians to leave the province.